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Djokovic's quest for history, injuries and fans return - US Open talking points

:Headline: Djokovic's quest for history, injuries and fans return - US Open talking points:
The Serbian is the red-hot favourite to win major number 21.
Sports Mole

The US Open begins next week with a full house of spectators in attendance as the world's best players compete for the final grand slam title of the year.

Here, the PA news agency looks at five talking points ahead of this year's tournament.

Key of the door?

Put simply, there is a lot at stake for Novak Djokovic. A fourth title in New York will see him not only complete the calendar Grand Slam – the first player to do so since Steffi Graf in 1988, and the first man since Rod Laver 52 years ago – but he will also overtake Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the slam race for the first time in his career. The Serbian is currently tied with his long-time rivals on 20 major titles. With Federer and Nadal missing Djokovic is the red-hot favourite to hit 21, and it seems the only thing that could stop him is how heavy the weight of history sits on his shoulders.

Absent friends

Four-time grand-slam champion Naomi Osaka's much-documented withdrawal from the French Open, after being threatened with expulsion over refusing to fulfil media duties, and then deciding to skip Wimbledon to focus on her mental wellbeing, has shone a spotlight on some important issues surrounding athletes' welfare. Hopefully the 23-year-old will be in a comfortable setting at the scene of her two title wins, and her sparkling tennis will come to the fore once more.

Fans are back

Flushing Meadows will have maximum fan capacity for the main part of the tournament, making it the first grand slam to have full attendance amid the pandemic since the Australian Open last year. No vaccine passports are required and masks are not compulsory. Last year's event was played out in an eerie locked down atmosphere, so the 'unique' New York crowd can now play their part in what is usually a memorable tournament.

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea129213042629
2Manchester CityMan City139222772029
3Liverpool1384139112828
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham137242416823
5Arsenal137241517-223
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves136251212020
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs126151117-619
8Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton134631214-218
9Leicester CityLeicester135352023-318
10Manchester UnitedMan Utd125252021-117
11Crystal Palace133731919016
12Brentford134451717016
13Aston Villa135171821-316
14Everton134361620-415
15Southampton133551118-714
16Watford134181824-613
17Leeds UnitedLeeds132651220-812
18Burnley121651420-69
19Norwich CityNorwich13238727-209
20Newcastle UnitedNewcastle130671529-146
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